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It’s been an interesting couple of weeks involving animals in the Triangle. After capturing a loose venomous zebra cobra residents have new creatures to watch out for. This time it’s a pack of dogs. Kind of. The “dogs” are actually wolf-dog hybrids and they are loose in Orange County, NC.

A warning was sent out Monday courtesy of Orange County Animal Control, the dogs are believed to be a cross between German Shepards and wolves. The dogs escaped in the Cedar Grove area of Orange County about a week ago. Eight were safely captured, while four others remain on the run. Currently, it is unknown if all 12 of the dogs were wolf-dog hybrids. No attacks have been reported to humans or other animals but animal control officials are reminding people to be cautious.

 

 

“These hybrids tend to be a little bit larger than a typical dog, and they may be more unpredictable because they are bred with wolf,” said Dr. Tara Harrison, an associate professor at North Carolina State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine told WRAL. “Feral dogs in general, particularly larger dogs, can certainly be very concerning,” Harrison said. “I suspect, if they’re all from the same place, they’re probably going to stay near each other. Packs can be more dangerous just because they’re all helping each other.”

Traps have been set up in the area which is northwest of Durham and Chapel Hill. Residents are urged to call Orange County Animal Control at 919-942-7387 if they spot the dogs. Animal Control officials also strongly warn not to try to feed them or attempt to capture them. There is no approved rabies vaccine for this particular type of hybrid dog, so even if the animals were vaccinated it is unknown if the vaccine is effective.

Owning a wolf in North Carolina is illegal however any animal less than 100 percent wolf is allowed as a pet in the state.  However, each county has its own rules, and hybrids of this kind are not permitted to be kept as pets in Orange County. No information about the owners or how the wolf-dog hybrids got loose has been released at this time.

Who knows what the next animal sighting will be, but as a former Raleigh resident, I’m glad to be on the other side of the state these days.